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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Jesh Navaratnam

I am passionate about serving others. I have developed my personality, experience, and interpersonal and technical skills in a wide variety of areas from competitive soccer, to music ensembles, to corporate internships and work with not-for-profit organizations. I am driven and dedicated and provide a mature and well-rounded perspective, allowing me to share my enthusiasm with others and having them reciprocate my passion thus earning their support and admiration. I believe this ability is key to sharing new ideas and getting more people involved with sustainable initiatives that have a positive social impact.  (100 words)  

What is your personal definition of sustainability? 

My definition of sustainability consists of purpose and practice:  

Purpose: Sustainability is a necessity because the impact of my life on earth, extends well beyond my lifetime. I believe that I have a responsibility to my generation and future generations to leave the earth in a better place than I found it.  

Practice: Words without action are essentially purposeless and practicing what I preach is fundamental to leading by example. Therefore, it is important that I understand how to truly live sustainably and how to counter unsustainable practices around me.  

What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?

For too long, business has had a profit at any cost mentality at the expense of the long-term health of the planet and its inhabitants. This certificate represents an opportunity to further develop my knowledge and understanding of sustainable practices within business while authenticating my commitment to sustainability. My desire is to share this passion and be a leader of change within the organizations of my future employers. In the short-term, I will have the opportunity this coming summer to bring my experience and enthusiasm for the space to a finance consulting position. It is through the finance functions, that organizations can begin to repurpose funds for socially conscious practices and initiatives. I want to help organizations introduce and prioritize sustainability in their decision-making processes by recognizing the social and financial benefits available. Subsequently, I want to address the misconception that profit suffers when engaging in sustainable practices. While it is possible that short-term profits suffer from higher upfront investment, sustainable practices have proven to create far greater long-term value. My biggest professional goal is to establish my very own organization where the fundamental goal is to always put people before profits.  

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

I am a founding member of the Trek for Teens Chapter at Western. This club was started in my first year of University and strives to raise awareness for homeless youth in London and contribute through funds and in-kind donations. Over the past 3 years, we have raised over $40,000 in donations for homeless youth in London. This year I have acted as the VP Ivey Connects for my section, leading all our charitable initiatives. We are working to create an entrepreneurship manual specifically aimed at supporting new refugees in establishing organizations that can make the London community stronger. In addition, I acted as the Section Representative for the Ivey Social Impact Club supporting the Conference team. We successfully engaged over 60 students on the theme of Integration, considering how students can integrate impact into their career paths, as well as how corporations are integrating impact in their business models and operations. Finally, I am currently working for Parkin Consulting Ltd., a global not-for-profit consulting firm, as their Strategy Manager. I am responsible for developing strategic initiatives in addition to supporting a diverse set of clients that includes small businesses, start-ups, non-profit organizations, and charities. 

Jesh Navaratnam

Jesh Navaratnam